Sunday, June 9, 2013

Hard Work, Trials, & Some Success!!!

Hitting the Ground Running...
After a couple very long days of travelling we arrived back in Swaziland on the 5th of March.  We had a nice little welcome sign on our door made by some of the children of the SLC.  It was great to be back in home in Swaziland!! 

We took the 6th of March to rest and start to unpack, and then on the 7th of March we hit the ground running, fully back to the work.  I ended up needing to unexpectedly preach in our very first Sunday back in Swazi (the 10th) and from then on all seems to be a complete blur up until today.  We have been very busy! 
We were so happy to be back with the children of the SLC.  Of course many of the boys proudly told me: "We have been practicing with our lightsabers while you were gone!" :) 
In our second week in Swaziland my mother-in-law started to have a bunch of medical problems.  She first went to the government hospital in Manzini, but they would simply give her pills and/or some type of an injection and send her back home.  We would ask her: “What did the Doctor say?”  She would tell us “He said nothing.  He just gave me these pills.”  No one wants to be a patient in any hospital, but being a patient in the government hospitals in Swaziland is so very difficult.  The facilities, resources, and level of care are simply terrible.  Even as an admitted patient, it is hard to see any doctor at all.  You are not really allowed to ask questions regarding your care, and if you do start to ask questions you are hushed up & rarely get an answer.  You really have no voice.  I know the US medical system has tons of flaws, but after living here for nearly 9 years I have such an appreciation for the health care that we do have access to in the USA!   
So, after seeing what was happening to my mother-in-law, we decided to take her to a private clinic.  There are 2 really good private clinics in Swaziland.  The difference in care compared to the public government hospitals is like night and day.  The kicker is the cost!  It is very expensive for any persons budget!  Sadly, for most Swazi people this care is never an option.  Well, after 5 clinic visits, and a bunch of blood tests over a 3 week period, we thankfully we got some answers and my mother-in-laws health condition improved greatly!  Thank you Jesus!  Basically, she was experiencing complications from Diabetes & complications from medications that were conflicting with each other.  We were able to get her on the right medication and also a meter to regulate her blood sugar.  We thank the Lord that she is now doing well!  It's only because of the financial support we receive from our friends and from our Kenmore Alliance Church family that we were able to get her the proper care that she needed.  We thank you so much for your love to us!                  

Easters with YWAM!
In Swaziland celebrating the Resurrection of Jesus Christ is referred to as "Easters." This is mainly due to the fact that many churches have multiple day services that happen from Wednesday or Thursday through to Easter Sunday.  This year our good friends @ YWAM Swaziland hosted a special day for the children of the SLC.  It was an amazing celebration of Jesus’ Resurrection! They prepared a great time with teaching, worship, fun games, an Easter egg hunt, and a special meal.  It was a lot of fun for both the kids and our staff!       

Some of the YWAM staff leading us in worship
Some great teaching on what Easter is all about!
Sack races!
Zwakele & Thandeka getting in on the fun!
Thandeka w/ her friend Siphiwe having fun. 
In the first half of April a lot of our effort was spent on working with the children of the SLC to get ready for their 1st term exams.  We now have 21 different children schooling in grades 1-6.  The children’s first school term ended on the 24th of April and they were all happy to have a bit of a break.  We were happy that we had 4 children who placed in the top ten of their classes! 

The directors of the SLC, Mike & Robin Pratt, left for the USA in the last week of April and were gone throughout May.  With their departure we were busy “running the show,” and had a lot of extra responsibilities.  Some of those responsibilities we were used to, like preaching @ Checkers Community Church where the Pratt's are pastoring, picking up and sorting through various donations, paying staff, various admin, and helping to care for the SLC’s chickens, rabbits, and goats.  However I (Dennis) was able to help in a new way as well.   This new job was driving 2 of our goats to the "Dip Tank."  Goats and cattle are required monthly to go to the dip tank, where they walk through a tank of water & a medical solution that is designed to keep ticks and other parasites away.  It is part of a regiment to keep them healthy.  Well, in all my 9 years here I had never taken animals to do this!  It was quite an interesting and comical process of myself and another staff member trying to get two goats into the back of a pick up truck, and then drive them to the rural community of Gobholo where the dip tank was located.  I was happy to help out and will never forget the experience :)!!!  Some pictures are below:             
Some of the donations from Hammond's Pick n Pay that needed to be sorted through
You wouldn't believe how hard it is to get 2 goats into the back of a pickup truck!
Quite an imposing & slippery road to the dip tank!

The beautiful rural community of Gobholo, where we have to dip the goats. 
About a half hours drive from the SLC

Meet Nonduduzo! 
Sometime in the middle of May we received our 29th child to the Sandra Lee Centre.  Her name is Nonduduzo and she is a beautiful & lively 7 year old girl.  Nonduduzo was a child who attended the AIM Neighborhood Care Point in the community of Bheveni.  This care point was one of the places that both Zwakele and I ministered at while we were with AIM.  We are so happy to have her at the SLC!!       
Nonduduzo or "Nondu"
Nonduduzo came from a tragic situation in which she needed to be removed from immediately for her own safety.  Sometimes it is sadly quite a lengthy bureaucratic process to get a child in need placed into a home like the Sandra Lee Centre.  Nevertheless, Nonduduzo needed to get away from the situation right away.  Good friends of ours, and missionaries with AIM, Steve & Amy McAdams, welcomed Nondu into their home for over 3 months until she could be officially placed @ the SLC.  They stepped up to the plate big time and helped this beautiful girl in need!  Because Nondu only came to us in May we had a challenge finding a school that would take her mid-year.  It was my (Dennis) job to try to get her a place in a school around our community.  It took many days of visiting different schools, meeting with principals and teachers, praying, and flat out begging.  But finally the Lord provided a place for her to go to school!  The only catch was that all school fees needed to be paid for literally that day, and then Nondu needed a complete uniform, new shoes, stationary etc.  Again, because of your love and financial support to the Brock family here in Swaziland we were able to get all of this done & Nondu into school immediately!! Thank you Jesus!!  Nondu is so happy to be in school and she is already doing well in her 1st grade class!  Zwakele & I are humbled and privileged to be partnering with God as he brings His restoration to Nondu's life.  Please keep Nondu in your prayers as she gets used to life @ the SLC.      

Nondu in her new school uniform for St. Mark's Primary. 
Our supporters made this happen! 
Thank You!!

Some Prayer Requests
Would you please pray with us in the following areas:  
1.  KAC Mission trip to Swaziland.  We are privileged to be hosting a team from our home church in less than a month from now.  12 wonderful people will be with us from the 7th of July through the 19th.  Will you please pray as we continue to get all the details and preparation done for this trip.  We are very excited to have this team coming!  
2.  Please pray for our role in ministering to the staff at the SLC.  We continue to have weekly times of prayer, worship, & bible study with the women who love and care for the children.  Please pray that the Lord would lead us in this effort and that we would see greater levels of love and unity amongst the staff of the SLC.    
3.  Communication problems.  Since we arrived back from the USA we have been trying to get internet installed right in our house.  We applied for the service even before we left for the states, and reapplied as soon as we got back!  Well, as of today we are still waiting on the company to even start the first step of the process.  In order for us to use the internet we currently need to get to the internet café in town.  It is really hard to get away from our work @ the SLC during the day, and the café is not open after our work hours.  We really need something to happen in this issue!           
In closing, thank you so much for your continued love and support to us!  We really appreciate and need your prayers!  Our family can never say thank you enough as your love empowers us to live out our calling the Lord has given us!  May God bless you and your families! 


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